The Eladrin Eldritch Executioner and its variants - A permahidden archetype miniguide.

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The Eladrin Eldritch Executioner and its Variants

A permahidden archetype miniguide





Permanent hiding appears to be one of the most regularly brought up topics on these forums. It is also fairly controversial. Some would argue that it is rarely a good tactical choice, encouraging your foes to focus fire on your allies. Others would argue that it is too good and will tempt the DM to make the party face overpowering challenges, once again, to the party's detriment.

This mini-guide can be thought of as part of a good response to the first concern. It is possible to gain a significant tactical and DPR advantage from a well-built permahidden build.

How to respond to the second concern? Try to match your own level of optimization to your party's. If you are not playing in a highly optimized party, then don't play a highly optimized character. Provided that the rest of your party is also highly optimized, then to the DM I say bring it on. Of course, your DM will occasionally challenge you by putting you up against foes with blindsight, which negates your ability to hide entirely, but this just gives your other party members a chance to shine.

A few months ago I posted a build called the Eladrin Eldritch Executioner, a hybrid Executioner|Warlock that used Elusive Hexer and Cursed Shadow to hide every round, and using the Student of Caiphon PP and Sage of Ages ED. Although it is a very serviceable build, I started experimenting with other options, such as at-will proning, slashing PPs (Feytouched and Long Night Scion) and the Radiant One ED. Rather than post those alternative builds there, I decided to start a fresh thread. This decision was cemented by the fact that I neglected to reserve extra posts in the previous thread, leading to a big, unwieldy mess. Not going to make that mistake again

The EEE is only one of a few builds that can effectively make use of permanent hiding. I'm going to focus mostly on melee Hybrid Executioner|Warlocks with Elusive hexer in this guide, although I intend to furnish it with a list of links to other related builds too. This guide isn't intended as a one-stop-shop or a replacement for, say, the warlock guide, the charop stealth guide, or the q&a hidden club guide.

Rather than finish the guide and then post it up in its entirety, I've decided to put it up here unfinished in order to get the discussion flowing. Feedback is good!

Acknowledgements: I'd like to thank all those that contributed to the previous thread, the helpful posters in the Q&A forums who answered my never-ending questions with patience, Mellored for his stealth guide, and LordofWeasels for his Rules of Hidden club guide.

Play an Eladrin Eldritch Executioner if you:



  • Want to play a melee character with a decided dash of dark magic

  • Want to heavily focus on invisibility and hiding

  • Really lay down the hurt against a single target.


Key ingredients for permahidden



  • Elusive Hexer feat

  • Cursed Shadow feat

  • A way to hide after attacking (Assassin’s Cloak, WLME, Shadowrift blade)


With these three ingredients, you can turn invisible on your turn by attacking, and gain concealment by moving 3+ squares. The invisibility only lasts until the end of your current turn, so the trick is to move and hide. Once you're hidden, concealment is sufficient to keep you hidden.

Hiding properly


Being hidden grants total concealment, imposing a -5 penalty to enemies’ melee and ranged attacks against you, as well as providing an easy source of combat advantage. On top of this, enemies must guess the square you occupy in order to attack you. 


However, if you became hidden by moving (e.g. using a shadowrift blade after an attack) then enemies will generally be able to locate you by just guessing the last square they saw you in. Thus, you should move after becoming hidden if you want to make it really hard for enemies to target you. This means combining Assassin’s Cloak with movement, or moving once to hide (the action used for this movement must not have included an attack), and moving again to foil your enemies’ guesses.


Making Hiding count: Opportunity attacks and the catch-22


Without additional optimization and tactics, the above benefits are not usually going to be enough to make hiding worth it. Hiding costs feats and other resources that you could have devoted to doing more damage. While you’re hidden, your enemies can still attack your allies. In fact, by reducing the number of viable targets by one, you’ve made it more likely your enemies will focus-fire rather than spreading their attacks across the party. That is not something you want.


Nevertheless, you’ve constrained your enemies’ options. They don’t want to attack you, because they're unlikely to hit. In other words, they want to attack your allies. If you can sequester an enemy away from your allies, they are faced with a difficult choice – attack you, or move and provoke an opportunity attack.

This difficult choice is what is commonly referred to as a catch-22 (I called it a defender's dilemma in my guide to off-tanking. Your target is damned if he attacks you, and damned if he goes for your allies. One really important thing to keep in mind regarding forced choices like this is that assuming that your enemy knows which option will hurt them the least, they'll generally take it. Therefore, you should strive to make both options similarly unpleasant for your foe.


Of course, most enemies will get around this by shifting and then either charging or making a ranged attack. Therefore, you need a way to make the shift+charge tactic a poor choice. Here are a few methods you might use:


[sblock Knocking Prone]


If Eldritch Strike knocks prone on a hit, a marvelous thing happens. A prone enemy normally has to use their move action to stand before they can move anywhere. This means they can’t use it to shift, so shift + (ranged or charge) stops being an option for them. If they want to go for your mates, they’ll have to provoke an OA… and… whoopsie! They’ve been knocked prone again! This is a very good way to make invisibility really mean something.
There are a few ways to knock prone.



  • Polearm Momentum is most time-honored tradition for doing this. This requires a spear, fighter MC, a means of boosting the slide from Eldritch Strike (generally this means Rushing Cleats as there are no one handed Staggering polearms). On top of this, the wisdom and dexterity requirements are quite high – not the greatest fit for the EEE, though it certainly might work for a Revenant build.

  • World Serpent’s Grasp is a much better option, especially paired with the Long Night Scion’s Winter Winds feature. It would also work to a degree with Hindering Shield, but this is a costly proposition, as the EEE lacks shield proficiency by default.

  • Flail Expertise is an option worth serious consideration. There are only two downsides: you’d need to wield a flail, for which there are few really stellar enchants (and note that the Spiked Chain isn’t consistent with Attack Finesse), and you have to give up your slide 1 in order to prone – you may want to supplement this particular combo with either an Abduction ki focus or the Dragging Flail feat in order to have the means to sequester your foe.[/sblock]


[sblock Difficult Terrain]


I wouldn’t recommend relying on your DM’s generosity for difficult terrain. What might work, however, is finding a pair of Antipathy Gloves or picking up the White Lotus Hindrance feat in order to surround yourself with difficult terrain. However, this strategy does have two flaws. Firstly, just because you’ve surrounded yourself with difficult terrain doesn’t mean that you’ve surrounded your foe with difficult terrain. Remember, only moving into difficult terrain costs extra squares of movement. Therefore, depending on positioning, your target may still be able to shift and charge without provoking. Secondly, it’s debateable whether surrounding yourself with eight squares of difficult terrain gives away your position to your enemies. Can they see the difficult terrain? If so, all they’d need to do is target the middle square.[/sblock]


[sblock Mark of Finding]


This is a very easy way to ensure that though your enemy may shift, you’ll be next to them when they charge. Thus, provided that you can keep an enemy 2 or more squares of movement away from your allies, shift+charge might allow them to attack your allies, but they’ll suffer the hurt for doing so. To make this strategy work, you’ll want to consider boosting your slide distance, for instance with some rushing cleats and/or Abduction ki focus, as you may find yourself having to knock enemies away from your allies again every round. The inherent slide 1 from Eldritch Strike may not cut it. Also, enemies may choose to shift away and then attack the square they just left, hoping to catch you. A nice counter to this tactic is to only follow half the time. Alternatively, hit one guy on your turn and then move adjacent to a different isolated enemy. The guy you initially hit will probably assume you’re still near him (and hence waste a turn swinging at the air), while the foe you have not yet touched is probably going to assume the same thing (and hence provoke). Always remember to channel Batman. [/sblock]


[sblock Persistent Tail]


This one's a very interesting power. It allows you to move and hide in response to the first square of movement your target (ally or enemy) makes. One good use of this power is to negate shift+charge. Simply use it on your foe on your turn with a move action (don’t slide them on your turn after doing so), and then when they shift, move up to them and prepare to OA them right in the face.  Just note that though it frees up a feat, it is very expensive in terms of action economy.


The nice thing about Persistent Tail is that it’s very flexible. If combined with a prone+slide OA, for instance, it will trigger after your attack, allowing you to hide again after making an OA. Alternatively, if you use it on an isolated enemy who is after your main target in the initiative order, you could use it to try for a second OA that round.[/sblock]


[sblock Flying]


This option really only opens up in the epic tier when Zephyr Boots become available. But it’s rather nice. Simply fly directly above your foe. Done. A shift won’t get them out of OA range. Note, however, that this tactic may make it rather easy for enemies to guess the square you’re in.[/sblock]


White Lotus Riposte vs True Hidden?


If you can count on being attacked by your target with any degree of regularity, White lotus riposte and master riposte are fantasic feats. However, if an enemy is forced to guess your square (due to you having moved since you hid, a.k.a being truly hidden) and they guess wrong, it is debateable whether they count as truly having attacked you, at all. The following will assume that guessing wrong won't trigger WL(M)R, but consult your DM.

If your OA is very accurate and knocks your target prone (or otherwise foils their charge, e.g. by sliding them a good distance), enemies may be especially likely to choose to attack you. Let's make up some numbers.

You hit your foe, knocking them prone, 90% of the time. Even if they are missed by the OA, they have a 50% chance of missing their target. .1*.5= .05, so your enemy has a 5% chance of actually hitting your ally, and will probably take some damage for trying. Moreover, thanks to your high defenses and being hidden, your enemy's chace of correctly hitting you is, say, about 5-10%. Given that their chances of hitting you are somewhat comparable to their chances of getting at your friend, they may as well attack you, and save themselves some hurt.

This is where the advice from before regarding catch-22s comes in handy: if your enemy knows what's best for them, they'll probably take that option. So you should make their best option as bad as possible. Given that attacking you is their best option, picking up WLMR is a very good choice. Of course, it may mean that you'll want to relax a little on the "true hiding" and make it easier for your enemy to guess your square, to make it easier for them to trigger WLMR. Total concealment should be enough to make it worthwhile to trade attacks.

This reasoning may not apply so well if your OA doesn't negate the enemy's charge. Their best bet is more likely to be to suck up the OA, because at least then they'll have a decent chance of doing some damage to someone


Doing the Batman: What a permahidden build can do for your foes' mental (and physical) health


I mentioned before that my treatment of the catch-22 assumes that your target knows what is good for him. But hang on! If your opponents don't know where you are, this assumption is seriously violated.

Let's say that there are two enemies who are currently not adjacent to any of your allies. During round 1, you hit enemy A, and when they move to attack your allies, you punish them with an OA, knocking them prone. Round 2 comes up, and you hit the same guy again. What should they do? Probably attack you right? But what if you're not even there? They have no chance of guessing your square right. To make matters worse for team bad guy, you've snuck over to stand next to enemy B. They're also assuming that you're harrassing enemy A so are very suprised when you smack them with an OA.

Normally it's inadvisable for a striker to switch targets - you should kill one enemy before moving to the next. However, in this case that advice is completely misplaced, because by moving to another target, if you get lucky, you may seriously impede both enemy a (who wastes a turn swinging at air, and is therefore tactically "dead" for a round) and enemy b (who gets hit and knocked prone - possibly also wasting their turn).

A variant on this idea is to have your cake and eat it using Persistent Tail. If you can get Persistent Tail to trigger from the slide of your Eldritch Strike Opportunity Attack, then you can use it to re-hide (sadly, not true hidden) next to another foe. If they haven't acted yet, this means you could potentially get another OA that round.

Icing on the cake: double-dipping striker mechanics


Hybrid Warlock’s Curse applies to any warlock or warlock paragon path power. Hybrid Attack Finesse, on the other hand, applies to any Assassin power, Assassin Paragon Path power, or basic attack. Eldritch Strike is a basic attack and a warlock power. See where I’m going with this? A hybrid Executioner|Warlock can get both striker mechanics on an Eldritch Strike attack, once per turn.


 The once per turn clause is crucial, also. A basic attack during your turn and a guaranteed basic attack during your opponent’s turn is generally going to be a lot more damaging than twin strike (of course, that’s all other things being equal, which they might not be, but I’m not going to devote any space to elaborating further on this point). Not only does Eldritch Strike include a mod to damage, but it will trigger the extra striker damage (at least 3d6+3d8 at epic, but buffable further by feats and items) on both swings.





..some sections I'll fill in soon...

Themes


Ability Scores


Feats


Powers of Note


Paragon Paths worth Considering



Academy Master
Champion of the Vigil
Feytouched
Ghost of Eventide
Guild Executioner
Long Night Scion
Shadow Dancer
Student of Caiphon 



Epic Destinies of Epic Destinyness








Sample builds


Original build based on Student of Caiphon and Sage of Ages
[sblock Long Night Scion/Radiant One - level 30 build]

This will be tidied up in a bit - I just wanted to get it up for discussion first.
[sblock the build]

Race: Eladrin
Class: Hybrid Warlock|Executioner
Pact: Star Pact, Fey Pact
Theme: Sohei
Background: Something with +2 Stealth
Paragon Path: Long Night Scion
Epic Destiny: Radiant One


Starting Ability Scores (post racial): Str 8, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 18
Final Ability Scores: Str 10, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 26, Wis 12, Cha 26.


HP: 169. Bloodied: 84. Surge Value 42. Surges per day: 8.


AC: 51 (53/56) 10+15+8(int)+4(leather)+6(enhance)+2(item)+2(warding curse)+2(cloak of translocation) +2 (Ghost Dance rapier)
Fort: 43 (45/48) 10+15+2(con)+6(enhance)+3(feat)+1(class)+2(belt)+2(warding curse) +2 (Ghost Dance rapier)
Reflex: 48 (50/53) 10+15+8(int)+6(enhance)+3(feat)+2(warding curse)+2(cloak of translocation) +2 (Ghost Dance rapier)
Will: 49 (51/54) 10+15+8(cha)+6(enhance)+4(feat)+1(class)+2(warding curse)+1(race) +2 (Ghost Dance rapier)
Numbers in parentheses include concealment/total concealment.
Note: While hidden, AC, Reflex and Will are all at the defense "cap" according to this thread. Typical level 30 foes will only hit those defenses on a natural 20.


Feats
1. Cursed Shadow (retrained at 13 or 15 to Superior Will)
2.  Weapon Ki Technique
4. Silvery Glow (retrained at 12 to White Lotus Riposte)
6. Improved Defenses
8. Killing Curse (retrained at 11 to Elusive Hexer)
10. Assassin’s Cloak (retrained at 14 to Lasting Frost)
11. Twofold Pact (fey)
12. Deft Blade (retrained at 24 to Acolyte Power)
14. Arcane Admixture (Eldritch Strike; cold)
16. World Serpent’s Grasp
18. White Lotus Master Riposte
20. Secret Stride (retrained to Untraceable at 21)
21. Warding Curse
22. Arcane Familiar
24. Cyclone Warrior
26. Cursed Spells
28. Bloodied Boon
30. Slashing Storm


Stealth: +34, reroll (+8 with Mire the Mind, -5 after moving more than 2 squares, +1 if already hidden) = 15 + 5 (trained) + 5 (untraceable) + 2 (dex) + 5 (item) + 2 (background)


At-will Powers
Eldritch Strike, Eyebite


Encounter Powers
Assassin’s Strike, Mire the Mind, Strand of Fate


Daily Powers
Wall of Shadows, Plague of Frogs, One Final Sacrifice

Utility Powers
Spectral Fade, Shadow Adept, Persistent Tail, Ethereal Sidestep, Hero's Defense 


Equipment
Cloak of Translocation +6 (29), Starleather of Dark Deeds +6 (29), Ghost Dance rapier +6 (28), Shadow Master Ki Focus +6 (28), Rod of Starlight +5 (25), Hands of Hadar (24), Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (22), Bracers of Mighty Striking (22), Lightstep Slippers (21), Elven Chain Shirt +2 (19), Belt of the Witch King (18), Ring of the Radiant Storm (17), Incisive dagger +3 (14), Eladrin Ring of Passage (14), Shadowrift dagger +3 (12), Stone of Light (12), Dice of Auspicious Fortune (11), Sehanine’s Mark of the Dark Moon (3),  Pelor’s Sun Blessing (3).


[/sblock]

[sblock tactics] Pick a target. Curse them (using the Rod of Starlight). Smack them prone with Eldritch strike. Teleport with shadowrift blade, hiding and dealing Winter Winds damage. On their turn, after standing they are likely to either attack you, probably miss and provoke White Lotus hurt, or provoke an OA trying to attack your allies, getting knocked prone again, invalidating their charge attack.[/sblock]

[sblock simple damage breakdown, additional math to come]
ES charge: 50.5 (55.3 once Lasting Frost is in play)
Curse/Attack Finesse:  41.6
Winter Winds: 26.9
Slashing Storm: 14.0
OA/WLMR: 54.1
Curse/Attack Finesse: 40.7
Winter Winds: 26.3
Shadow Master ki focus: 9.6
WLR: 28.0
Total at will DPR if target attacks you: 291.7/296.5, and they're probably going to miss.
Total at will DPR if target triggers OA: 263.7/268.5, and knocked prone on the OA so unlikely to reach your allies anyway.
[/sblock] 

Issues:

The build, like all permahidden builds, is horribly feat starved. I've had to pass up on Deft Blade and Silvery Glow amongst other nice DPR feats. Not that I'm necessarily complaining - the DPR is very high. Can you see any feats which are underperforming or unnecessary?

The shadowrift power, which will be used 1-2 times most rounds, deals 5 damage per use. Martial Supremacy ends when you spend a healing surge. The build can use the power 16 times before even getting bloodied, but nevertheless some surgeless healing or damage reduction could be quite useful. I had planned on taking Ring of Free Time, but it's simply too expensive if you stick by the item budgets to any degree.[/sblock]


reserved
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reserved. Oh, and post away, if that is your inclination.
Since your first thread regarding the EEE, I toyed with the build a bit and attempted to get Eldritch Strike damage as high as possible with Academy Master and Radiant One.  I used Thundergod Weapon, Rod of Ulban, Hands of Hadar and Bracers of Mighty Striking.  I don't have the math with me atm, but it was looking pretty impressive.
Awesome. I'd be keen to see the result. Care to post it up here?

Academy Master is one of the better PPs for an EEE build, for sure. It's one of those nice PPs that has solid features all-round. Such PPs make me happy. PPs like Long Night Scion, Kulkor Arms Master, etc, have a single stellar feature with great optimization potential, but that are dead weight until 16, kinda piss me off!

I think Hands of Hadar and Bracers of Mighty Striking are generally going to be great choices for EEE builds. Hands of Hadar is nice because curse damage is 1/turn.

I'll be posting some more stuff up here soon enough; just need to mark some assignments and things. Procrastination is the DEVIL. 
One dilemma with arcane stealth builds that I find quite difficult to come down on either side on is whether it's better to build for true hidden status or for White Lotus Master Riposte.

In order to actually force opponents to not know your square, you have to hide, and then move after hiding. This will generally mean 2 of Assassin's Cloak, a "move after attack" feat, property, or power, or actually spending a move action after attacking (this will typically rule out charging though). If you just have 1 of the above then you'll be hidden, and enemies will have to guess your square, but it will be a super easy choice ("Uh, I guess the last square I saw him in just before he hid").

White Lotus Master Riposte severely punishes enemies for attacking you. If, given the dilemma you're presenting to your foes, your enemies would rather attack you than provoke your OA, then this is pretty fantastic.

However, I don't think the two things above synergise very well. If your enemy guesses your square wrong, I don't think WLMR triggers at all. So I think it's generally going to be better to build for one of the above, but not both.

I think the appropriate decision will depend on the build in question, but generally, if your OA completely negates their move (i.e. you knock prone) and is very accurate, then they are generally going to be better off attacking you than moving. And if they're probably going miss you anyway, even knowing what square you're in (i.e. your defenses, including total concealment, are simply too high for them to have a good chance of hitting), then it may be better to let them know what square you're in and go for WLMR.
A good person to give suggestions on this would be kilpatds.

To my knowledge, he is the first to produce a permahidden eladrin eldritch build (we came up with the combo in IRC shortly after they changed the feat to its current wording).  I don't think he ever posted it, though... 
I'd love to hear any suggestions he's got. He did post briefly in the last thread to clear up a rules issue.

..Or any suggestions you've got, especially given than I think slashing dovetails quite nicely with the EEE. Now that slashes are 1/turn, they really benefit from builds that are able to teleport out of turn (e.g. an OA or WLMR +Shadowrift teleport, for instance).
Well, first off, I as really inspired by the EEE, I love warlocks, and I love assassins, so when I found out that you could combine these two flavorful, yet weakish classes into a high damage striker, well, I was intrigued. Now, I'm planning for a level 7 lair assault inspired game, so when it came time to build a character, a came up with this:

Iannes
Changling Executioner (Ninja or Red Scales)/Warlock 7
Ability Scores : Str 14, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 18
AC 21, Fort 18, Ref 19, Will 21
HP 60, 7 Surges, Surge Value 15
Background: Auspicious Birth
Theme: Sohei
Eldritch Strike Charisma
Feats
1. Rod Expertise
2. Killing Curse
4.
6. Shadow Master
Powers
Eldritch Strike
Executioner's Noose
Shadow Darts (E)
Targeted For Death (D)
Assassin's Bane (U)
Eldritch Rain (E)
Emerald Shield (D)
Twilight Assassin (D) (from feat)
Ghost of the Rooftops (U)
Confounding Laughter (E)

The problem I encountered is quite possibly the opposite of yours, I have an empty featslot.
 In short, what are your suggestions to fill them.

I am considering one of the White Lotus feats.
Okay.  I don't have a lot of time to go over this, but I found my notes and started to plug things into the cb... and horrible things happened.  The most important of which is the CB's decision to apply Dex as the primary stat for Eldritch Strike, I assume because it's a melee basic and the Assassin class feature ALLOWS you to use Dex for melee basic attacks...  Anyway.  I have rough numbers for you.  


Charging with Eldritch Strike:

+38 vs. Ref - 85% hit chance against lvl 30 monster.

2d8(w) + 29 + 8(Starborn) + 3(Light Blade Expertise) + 4d8+8(Curse) + 3d8(Attack Finesse) + 2d6(Thundergod) + 3d6(Horned Helm) + 10(Psychic Vulnerability) + 5(Cold Vulnerability)


OA/WLMR:  +37 vs. Ref - 80% hit chance for 9d8+63
 
Avg Eldritch Strike Charge: 112 (107 without Lasting Frost)
Avg ES Opportunity Attack or White Lotus Master Riposte: 103.5 (98.5 without LF)

DPR: 196.3

The character isn't finished, so there may be more.  But that's a look at bare bones Eldritch Strike.
At this point, State of the Art has passed Riven (My perma-stealth warlock) by.  In particular, the Exe|Warlock combo.  But Ghost of Eventide was one PP I looked at, and Champion of the Vigil was another.  Outside of LFR, I'd have gone Lyrandar Wind Rider, but, as always, most of this pales to actually getting multi-attacks via stealth.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

Okay.  I don't have a lot of time to go over this, but I found my notes and started to plug things into the cb... and horrible things happened.  The most important of which is the CB's decision to apply Dex as the primary stat for Eldritch Strike, I assume because it's a melee basic and the Assassin class feature ALLOWS you to use Dex for melee basic attacks...  Anyway.  I have rough numbers for you.  


Charging with Eldritch Strike:

+38 vs. Ref - 85% hit chance against lvl 30 monster.

2d8(w) + 29 + 8(Starborn) + 3(Light Blade Expertise) + 4d8+8(Curse) + 3d8(Attack Finesse) + 2d6(Thundergod) + 3d6(Horned Helm) + 10(Psychic Vulnerability) + 5(Cold Vulnerability)


OA/WLMR:  +37 vs. Ref - 80% hit chance for 9d8+63
 
Avg Eldritch Strike Charge: 112 (107 without Lasting Frost)
Avg ES Opportunity Attack or White Lotus Master Riposte: 103.5 (98.5 without LF)

DPR: 196.3

The character isn't finished, so there may be more.  But that's a look at bare bones Eldritch Strike.



When you say horrible, do you mean good horrible, or bad horrible? I had been using Cha for Eldritch strike, but what would Dex do?
Attack finesse lets you use dex instead of strength, but ES is cha, not str, so you shouldn't be able to use dex.
Well, first off, I as really inspired by the EEE, I love warlocks, and I love assassins, so when I found out that you could combine these two flavorful, yet weakish classes into a high damage striker, well, I was intrigued. Now, I'm planning for a level 7 lair assault inspired game, so when it came time to build a character, a came up with this:

Iannes
Changling Executioner (Ninja or Red Scales)/Warlock 7
Ability Scores : Str 14, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 18
AC 21, Fort 18, Ref 19, Will 21
HP 60, 7 Surges, Surge Value 15
Background: Auspicious Birth
Theme: Sohei
Eldritch Strike Charisma
Feats
1. Rod Expertise
2. Killing Curse
4.
6. Shadow Master
Powers
Eldritch Strike
Executioner's Noose
Shadow Darts (E)
Targeted For Death (D)
Assassin's Bane (U)
Eldritch Rain (E)
Emerald Shield (D)
Twilight Assassin (D) (from feat)
Ghost of the Rooftops (U)
Confounding Laughter (E)

The problem I encountered is quite possibly the opposite of yours, I have an empty featslot.
 In short, what are your suggestions to fill them.

I am considering one of the White Lotus feats.


Wait, why are you using Rod Expertise?  That doesn't do anything for Eldritch Strike, which is a weapon attack.  You want Ki Focus Expertise, and your empty feat slot could be used for Superior Implement Training (Accurate Ki Focus).  Actually, iirc there were actually some superior ki foci besides accurate that looked worthwhile, though I can't remember what they are so I'm not sure if they apply to your build.
Sadly I think superior implements only apply their properties to implement attacks. I think this even applies to weapon attacks made using a ki focus.
Sadly I think superior implements only apply their properties to implement attacks. I think this even applies to weapon attacks made using a ki focus.


That, unfortunately, is correct, and is a MASSIVE oversight on the part of WOTC when it comes to how Monks use their unarmed strike.
Yeah, although it would be pretty crazy good for light blade ki focus users such as executioners. That said, you only have room for so many feats... and I guess technically hexblades can do it. Argh, there I go again, making myself all sad about the nixed Pact Blade Manifestation feat. 
I'm sad about PBM too. Originally, this was a PBM build, but then they dropped it.

On Rod expertise, It was mostly for the AC and Ref bump, but Ki focus Expertise looks good too, I'll snag that.

A couple questions:
1) Is White Lotus Riposte redundant with Emerald Shield? If so, should I swap it out for Silvery Glow? It looks like it's gonna be WLR, 'cause WLR deals double-dips radiant vulnerability.
2) Should I swap out Frost Rapier for Longsword Sunblade? I'm not using lightblade stuff, and I need that radiant. Is it worth it, or is Quick Lunge to useful to obviate?
3) Speaking of Guilds, should I use Ninja, or Red Scales. Obviously I won't use a Kusuri-Gama, but the Shuriken attack is probably better (even w/out poisons) than the dagger one.
I'm sad about PBM too. Originally, this was a PBM build, but then they dropped it.

On Rod expertise, It was mostly for the AC and Ref bump, but Ki focus Expertise looks good too, I'll snag that.

A couple questions:
1) Is White Lotus Riposte redundant with Emerald Shield? If so, should I swap it out for Silvery Glow? It looks like it's gonna be WLR, 'cause WLR deals double-dips radiant vulnerability.

WLR isn't. WLMR on the other hand uses an immediate action.
2) Should I swap out Frost Rapier for Longsword Sunblade? I'm not using lightblade stuff, and I need that radiant. Is it worth it, or is Quick Lunge to useful to obviate?

I haven't really thought about that yet - none of the builds I've been playing with actually use Dexterity at all. I'll have to think about this some more; it may be that Quick Lunge is an interesting option for an EEE build.
3) Speaking of Guilds, should I use Ninja, or Red Scales. Obviously I won't use a Kusuri-Gama, but the Shuriken attack is probably better (even w/out poisons) than the dagger one.

To be honest... I'd recommend avoiding poisons beyond about level 9. Wall of Shadows is actually quite good damage when combined with sliding and OAs (particularly if you at-will prone). The executioner poisons are rather weak overall. I don't have any other thoughts on the matter just yet though

Something else I should probably point out is that Changeling is sadly a rather lackluster race. It's not terrible or anything. But not particularly good. Especially when you consider that its signature perk is made redundant by a Hat of Disguise (and actually, the hat of disguise is a fair bit better because it alters clothing as well).

At this point, State of the Art has passed Riven (My perma-stealth warlock) by.  In particular, the Exe|Warlock combo.  But Ghost of Eventide was one PP I looked at, and Champion of the Vigil was another.  Outside of LFR, I'd have gone Lyrandar Wind Rider, but, as always, most of this pales to actually getting multi-attacks via stealth.


Thanks for the suggestions, Kilpatds. I haven't really looked at those options yet so will have a read up on them. There are a good 7-10 PPs that deserve a mention for this kind archetype so I'll devote a section to discussing them.
Wow, Champion of the Vigil is FAN-TASTIC. I hadn't seen that PP before...

I'm not quite sure how to combine the Champion of the Vigil 16 feature "Attack with Care" with Martial Supremacy. How many rerolls would you get in total? I'm not sure if it's 1, 2 or 3. 
Attack finesse lets you use dex instead of strength, but ES is cha, not str, so you shouldn't be able to use dex.

  Correct.  So the CB is currently busted as it uses dex for ES.  I assume because Attack Finesse is improperly being applied to all melee basics, whether your dex is the higher stat or not.

Well first, the reason for Changling is backstory based, and I also don't have a Hat of Disguise, and my theme is Sohei, so the second Changling power is not redundant.  I actually don't have any poisons, I got Assassin daily's instead, but looking over my build, I realized that I don't shroud. I swapped Targeted for Death with Crown of Stars.
If the ninja satisfies my need for multitargeting, what should my second at-will be? I have it down now as Echoing Dirge, but Shadow claws has a Dex based rider Effect (holy crap!) so it looks good too.
Added to my guide.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.


Unless I'm mistaken, the race selection seems to be mostly open to individual choice, provided you can get +2 CHA. Would it be more valuable to be a Human than an Eladrin if you take Shadow Warp as your bonus at-will, and use that to enable an ally with Agile opportunist? It won't always be useful and it closes off the option of free action attacks on your turn (Shadow Warp being a free action attack itself), but the payoff could potentially be great.
Eladrin is required for Elusive Hexer. That said, Revenant would work too (and you could go Con/Dex).

OK, I was mistaken then. I didn't notice that amongst the retrained feats in the build on page one. It's a shame, since that would otherwise have been a nice bit of extra juice.

Yeah. Elusive Hexer is fairly critical for the permahide, which in turn, with a bit of additional work, yields an extra MBA per round. It is worth the price, but it does close off some options.
I cobbled together something with the Champion of Vigil PP. It wasn't very inspired, though it did reach about 300 DPR including an OA.

I'd kinda like to see what someone else can do with it. Anyone feel up to making a build (or just the starting point of a build)?

I'd also like to see a Revenant version of the EEE. 

This is what I have actually been running for the past 4-6 weeks, with a few modifications from time to time. Strangly enough, his name is Rhiven.


 


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Rhiven, level 18
Revenant, Assassin (Executioner)/Warlock, Champion of the Vigil
Guild Attacks (Hybrid) Option: Red Scales (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Hybrid Assassin (Executioner) Option: Hybrid Executioner Will
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid) Option: Fey Pact (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlock Option: Hybrid Warlock Will
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Twofold Pact Option: Sorcerer-King Pact
Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Cold
Choose your Race in Life: Eladrin
Circle of Smoke and Whispers
Tomb Robber (+2 to Stealth)
Theme: Son of Alagondar

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 13, CON 23, DEX 21, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 12

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 16, DEX 15, INT 9, WIS 13, CHA 10


AC: 30 Fort: 29 Ref: 29 Will: 27
HP: 120 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 30

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +15, Endurance +22, Stealth +29, Thievery +21

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +14, Arcana +9, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Dungeoneering +11, Heal +11, History +9, Insight +11, Intimidate +12, Nature +11, Perception +11, Religion +9, Streetwise +10

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Son of Alagondar Attack: Low Blow
Revenant Utility: Dark Reaping
Assassin Attack: Quick Lunge
Assassin Attack: Poisoned Dagger
Warlock's Curse Power: Warlock's Curse
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Assassin Attack 1: Executioner's Noose
Warlock Attack 1: Hand of Blight
Warlock Utility 2: Spectral Fade
Assassin Attack 5: Shadow Soul
Assassin Utility 6: Darting Shadow
Assassin Attack 7: Captured Shadow
Warlock Attack 9: Kalak's Burning Sands
Stealth Utility 10: Persistent Tail
Champion of the Vigil Attack 11: Remain Elusive
Champion of the Vigil Utility 12: Remain Unflinching
Warlock Attack 13: Killing Flames
Assassin Attack 15: Sundered Shadow
Assassin Utility 16: Untraceable Step
Warlock Attack 17: Life Force Reclaimed

FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Assassin's Cloak
Level 4: Cursed Shadow
Level 8: Silvery Glow
Level 10: Killing Curse
Level 11: Twofold Pact
Level 11: Mark of Shadow
Level 12: Mindbite Scorn
Level 14: Arcane Admixture
Level 16: Battle Awareness
Level 18: Elusive Hexer

ITEMS
Shadow Master Ki Focus +4 x1
Staggering Longsword +4 x1
Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) x1
Boots of Stealth (heroic tier) x1
Shadowdancer's Gloves x1
Diamond Cincture (heroic tier) x1
Assassin's Cloak +3 x1
Shadowflow Snakeskin Armor +4 x1
Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (paragon tier)
Adventurer's Kit
Thieves' Tools
Climber's Kit
Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier) x1
====== End ======


Two of the utility powers that the character has gives the character the ability to go invisible and trigger stealth. I've not actually used Persistent Tail yet, and in my party he catch-22 rarely would get played, since the only time the mobs try and attack me is when my stealth drops (which is rarely), so I do not worry about WLR and WLMR.


Depending on the situation when I attack with Eldritch Strike, Attack Finesse, and Curse, I am doing either 6d8 + 1d6 + 20 cold damage with the Staggering weapon, and possibly sliding them 5 squares away, or I am doing 6d8 + 1d6 + 28 cold damage with the Shadow Master Ki Focus, both of them at +24 (+26 counting inherent CA) to hit. Since I get to try to attack again on a miss while hidden, my total DPR with a single attack per round is at least 42 (probably more but I dot want to delve that deep into maths when calculating how the chance to reroll the hit when you miss is taken into effect).


Several of the encounter powers are reactionary (Killing Flames and Remain Elusive) so this might add to the overall damage that you can dish out per round divided amongst the rest of the encounter.


Between the paragon path and mark of shadow, when I hit I go invisible and get to restealth, or if I completely miss then I stay hidden. I did not like Assassin's Strike or the poisons, so when the character builder updated and let me build it with the Assassin's powers, that is what I did. I have to say that Sundered Shadow is a nice addition to this build. You hit the target once, then you move all around the battlefield, hitting and restealthing. I can probably do a full writeup at some point if you want.


This is not a theoretical build, but what I actually play (though I told my GM that once he gets too annoying to tell me to build something else) so I'm sure it could be tweaked for more optimization.

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That looks pretty cool.

Yeah, I don't think I'd worry with the riposte feats with that sort of build, for the exact reason you say. Enemies will probably choose to attack your allies, even if it means triggering an OA.

With builds that at-will prone on an OA (such as Long Night Scions or flail builds), I think it's more worth it, because I think enemies will quickly realize that it's not worth provoking an OA by charging - they'll just get knocked prone.

Feel like extending the build out to epic? Not sure what the best ED would be for this build. Possibly one of the +2/+2 builds - such as Destined Scion. Raven Knight may in fact be the best choice, mm.

I've made an excel spreadsheet to calculate DPR which takes into account many quirky mechanics, such as ring of the radiant storm, white lotus enervation, lasting frost, martial supremacy, slashing storm, slashing wake, and Attack with care (in fact, it even can combine martial supremacy with attack with care!). So I'll plug your build into it later on when I have time and tell you what your DPR is

 
One suggestion I'd make is to swap out Mark of Shadow for Mark of Finding. You're not going to miss much as a Champion of the Vigil, and you need a way to negate enemies just shifting away from you to avoid an OA. Unless you plan on using Persistent Tail for this? You DO have battle awareness, which is a great feat. Though it's only 1/enc. If you don't think you need Mark of Finding then you might want to consider just dropping Mark of Shadow for a damage-oriented feat.
That looks pretty cool.

Yeah, I don't think I'd worry with the riposte feats with that sort of build, for the exact reason you say. Enemies will probably choose to attack your allies, even if it means triggering an OA.

With builds that at-will prone on an OA (such as Long Night Scions or flail builds), I think it's more worth it, because I think enemies will quickly realize that it's not worth provoking an OA by charging - they'll just get knocked prone.

Feel like extending the build out to epic? Not sure what the best ED would be for this build. Possibly one of the +2/+2 builds - such as Destined Scion. Raven Knight may in fact be the best choice, mm.

I've made an excel spreadsheet to calculate DPR which takes into account many quirky mechanics, such as ring of the radiant storm, white lotus enervation, lasting frost, martial supremacy, slashing storm, slashing wake, and Attack with care (in fact, it even can combine martial supremacy with attack with care!). So I'll plug your build into it later on when I have time and tell you what your DPR is


 



It will probably take me a few days, but sure, I'll flesh out the character to 30 and drop a link in the thread. I have to say, the image I get from a character that pops in and out of invisibility and stealth, with shadows or an afterimage trailing behind him, is why I built the character, and it is a lot of fun. Also reminds me of the main character from the anime Nurarihyon no Mago, or like Nightcrawler almost. Or at least that is what my group sees the character like.

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Yeah, heh. One version of the build that I thought might be kinda entertaining was an MC bard with Walk Amongst the Fey. With a few teleport boosts (note: there aren't many teleport boosts that uncontroversially add to other-teleports) it could render the staggering weapon unnecessarily. Which means you could then get yourself a rending battleaxe, or harmony longsword or something. That said, if you want to crit a lot, MC Fighter and Martial Supremacy will be the way to go.
So, for your build at the moment I'm getting:

hit: .81*29. crit: .13*54 (Assuming Shadow Master crit dice)

= 23.6+6.8 = 30.3

Curse/Finesse: .81*26 + .13*40 = 26.6.

Shadow Master bonus damage  = .81 * 8 = 7.5.

Total damage with OA = 30.3*2+26.6*2+7.5 = 120.9.
Without OA = 64.5.

At level 18,
Striker baseline = 2*18+6 = 42.
High striker DPR = 4*18+12 = 84.
Broken DPR = 8*18+24 = 168.

So, assuming that they provoke, you fall easily into the high striker DPR bracket.